Cleaning Up The ObamaCare Mess

Republicans are being ridiculed by the right and the left for weighing ideas that would rescue ObamaCare health insurance policies for people in 37 states if the petitioners prevail in King v Burwell.

“Republicans Are Now Trying To Pass Obamacare Extension To Save Their Own Asses,” writes Allen Clifton in Forward Progressives. “GOP Gets Ready to Save the Day If the Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies,” says Rush Limbaugh.

If the Supreme Court decides against the Obama administration in the case, leaders in Congress are indeed determined to pass legislation to protect coverage for an estimated six million people. ObamaCare has so distorted the market for individually-purchased and small group health insurance that Congress has little choice but to throw them a safety net.


How did Republicans get boxed into this corner?

First, at least five million people were forced out of health insurance policies that they mostly liked and could afford because those policies no longer complied with the battery of mandates and regulations required by the “Affordable” Care Act.

Second, people are required by law to buy replacement policies. Those who didn’t comply with the individual mandate paid penalties averaging $1,130 this year, according to former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now president of the American Action Forum.

Third, the new ObamaCare-compliant policies must provide a long list of health benefits deemed “essential” by the federal government – including free preventive care, maternity coverage, and habilative care. If an insurance carrier participates in the ObamaCare exchanges, policies they offer on the outside must mirror the ObamaCare policies, leaving consumers with few choices.

And the policies must comply with other federal regulations that drive up costs, such as the rating requirements that make insurance especially expensive for healthy young people who are forced to pay more so older people can pay less for their policies.

Fourth, because the new policies are so much more expensive than pre-ObamaCare coverage, taxpayer subsidies are required so people can afford the policies.

Continue reading at: Forbes…


About the author

Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a public policy research organization that she founded in 1995 to promote an informed debate over free-market ideas for health reform. Full biography